Drawings done for the Beirut Art Center’s Micro-commissions series I Draw the Line Here.
𝗠𝗶𝗰𝗿𝗼-𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗡𝗼. 𝟮- 𝘐 𝘋𝘳𝘢𝘸 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘓𝘪𝘯𝘦 𝘏𝘦𝘳𝘦“𝘚𝘰 𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘴 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘴 𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘱𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯, 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘣𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘳𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘰𝘳 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘸𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘳𝘢𝘧𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘴𝘮𝘢𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘤𝘳𝘪𝘣𝘦” 𝖳𝗂𝗆 𝖨𝗇𝗀𝗈𝗅𝖽 𝖿𝗋𝗈𝗆 𝖫𝗂𝗇𝖾𝗌, 𝖺 𝖡𝗋𝗂𝖾𝖿 𝖧𝗂𝗌𝗍𝗈𝗋𝗒
Many artists in Lebanon have expressed disdain towards various impulses that some have had, to make art out of the explosion. At a moment where so much remains unclear, unresolved and most importantly unhealed, what is this urgency to “create” to “express” to “testify”? Others have argued for a proliferation of expressions, making the argument that the very attempt to create is in and of itself an attempt to make sense of things and to heal. But can this kind of healing be anything but a solitary, poetic form of expression, at a time where collective justice is what is needed?
We at the BAC are struggling to reconcile a double refusal. On the one hand, a refusal to normalize a state of such extreme and systemic precarity, to simply carry on, to romanticize resilience. On the other hand, there is also a refusal to let this precarity consume or structure our lives, to kidnap our dreams, to disrupt our projects and goals.
It is with these conflicted thoughts, feelings and impulses that we have approached 5 illustrators/comic artists to make one drawing a week throughout the month of October. Drawing too is conflicted, it encompasses time, while retaining a proximity with current events and the quotidian. With its immediate slowness, its once removed relation with representation, its narrative capacity, drawings can hopefully help us delineate the shape of things, much like a blind person feeling out the shape of one’s face by tracing its contours with their hands… Perhaps then, by looking at these drawings, we may begin to feel our faces again…